Rising senior and No. 5-seed Mitch Mather of the Missouri State men’s golf team defeated 11th-seeded classmate Joey Johnson 4-and-3 to win the 108th Missouri Golf Association Amateur Championship at Buffalo Ridge Springs Golf Course Sunday.
The victory for Mather is his first of his career in the event, which is open to amateur golfers who are members of the Missouri Golf Association, play at clubs that are members of the MGA and play with no more than a 9 handicap.
Johnson was seeking his third win of the Missouri Amateur.
Mather never trailed in the championship match. The Lebanon, Mo., native opened with an eagle 3 on the par-5, 578-yard first hole before he pared the second to go 2-up.
Mather and Johnson exchanged pars through Nos. 3, 4 and 5 when Mather birdied the sixth for a three-hole advantage. An Ozark, Mo., product, Johnson then claimed his first two holes of the day – the par-3 seventh and par-5 eighth with a par and birdie, respectively, to pull within one. Mather won the ninth with a par to take the turn 2-up on the 6,468-yard, par-70 course.
Mather won three more holes to Johnson’s one to sew up the title with three to play.
Mather reached the final with wins over Jeremy Reidelberger (3-and-1), Southern Illinois’ Steve Souchek (3-and-2), Brett Windsor (1-up), Gabe Wheeler (2-and-1) and Teddy Jones in 25 holes. Johnson defeated Matt Echelmeier (3-and-2), MSU teammate Brik Brauburger (3-and-2), Derek Reynolds (4-and-3), Wilson Sundvold (2-and-1) and Alex Springer (3-and-2).
One other Missouri State golfer qualified for the top 64 match-play portion of the event as No. 19-seed rising sophomore John Fuchs made it to the round of 16. No. 22 Brauburger advanced to the final 32. Rising sophomore Brad Carpenter missed the match-play cut.
The field was whittled from 144 following 36 holes of stroke play on Tuesday and Wednesday.